Mass Transit and Green Technology!

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I was reading a post from fellow transit nerd and fellow WordPress Blogger, Zachary Ziegler, about his former hometown agency at BFT (Ben Franklin Transit) testing out an Electric Transit Bus, not a hybrid but a 100% electric  bus!  You can check it out here, BFT Electric Bus Demonstration.  His post made me think of all of the other “green” initiatives in mass transit currently. Obviously the most popular option is electrified rail, but its also the most costly and if its not implemented properly it could become a huge disaster.  I remember a common theme from a book I read not long ago called Straphanger (definitely worth reading if you have even the smallest interest in transit).  The one thing that Taras Grescoe continued to repeat throughout the book is that agencies should invest in the option that is the absolute best for their service area and is also the most feasible financially.  The reason I say this is that being Green can cost a lot of the other kind of green, which is something that a lot of agencies are lacking thanks to the ineptitude of our elected “officials”.  For this reason an electric bus may be a viable option for cities that can’t even dream about affording rail.  They can be a green agency without having to sink a ton of money into an option that just doesn’t make sense.  The nice thing is that just about any bus out there can be outfitted with the electric engines.  Just imagine cities being cleaner and healthier simply because the big hulking buses aren’t spewing nasty carbon filled toxins anymore.

HART Is Golden!

Recently HART recieved a very prestigious award from the Transportation Security Administration highlighting HARTs dedication to safety and security system wide. From a personal perspective I think this award was well deserved, even though there is one piece of security that I think HART is lacking. That one piece is a Transit security team.
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T-N-T!

ITS DYNAMITE! Sadly this is not a post about those guys lol

Over the past year and a half that I have been an operator for HART I have learned quite about the transit world.  One that I find most interesting is the happy marriage of Twitter and Transit.  Many agencies, passengers, and transit advocates have found the speed and portability of Twitter to be invaluable.  The speed at which information can be shared these days is phenomenal and Twitter makes it much easier, more portable, and simplified (with a 140 character limit).  Ideas a shared by simply posting a link to a story, blog, or video. Continue reading

Don’t Miss The Bus!

The day has come for your first trip on public transportation.  You know where you need to go, you’ve got your map in hand as well as your bus schedule.  Now comes the task of actually getting on the bus.  Some of you might think, “well how hard could that possibly be?”  For the vast majority of the time its pretty darn simple, but there are those select few times where it might seem like the world is against you.  So hopefully with the help of this post you’ll never miss the bus again, and if you do you’ll understand why. Continue reading

When to Cross

If you grew up in the United States, then you more than likely rode to school on one of these:

You knew that when that bus stopped you could get on and off safely without worry.  When you get to your stop you got off and went running home without a second thought to traffic, because it was stopped and couldn’t go anywhere while YOUR bus was there.

Well now you are all grown and you use a city bus to get around, not only is it not bright yellow, but it doesn’t have the same magical powers your school bus did.  Yet you still dart out in front to get to work on time, and that was the last thing you ever did because you just got hit by a car going 45mph to get around YOUR bus.

Its an everyday occurrence, I see a passenger get off my bus and then without thinking begins to walk in front of the bus to cross the street.  I can’t really fault them for it, its something that is ingrained in our minds ever since our first day of school.  But crossing the street BEFORE the bus leaves is one of the most dangerous practices I see daily.  On numerous occasions I’ve had to blow my horn to prevent an unsuspecting passenger from taking what might be their last steps.  This video clearly demonstrates what I mean

The little girl gets off just like she would her school bus.  Thankfully the driver was quick acting and potentially saved her little life.  But as with most things in life it doesn’t always end that way.

So as a passenger, make sure you wait until the bus leaves and whenever possible, cross at a lit intersection with a crosswalk.  As a driver, when you approach a stopped public bus don’t be in a rush to speed around, you may forever alter someone else’s life and your own.  Cover your brake and because alert and cautious until you clear the bus or the bus leaves.  This very small things can have a HUGE impact on your safety and someone else’s.

Respect The Bus

I know that not everyone who reads my blog uses public transit 100% of the time, or at all in that fact.  The purpose for this blog is to educate people about public transit and that includes those who drive their personal cars through the cities they call home.  With that in mind I feel I should educate those motorists that may not realize how much of an impact their habits and choices have on a bus driver and the passengers that depend on that driver to get them where they are going safely.

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